As the country returns to normal following the end of lockdown and attention turns to other issues, nurses and other health care workers continue to deal with the risks of the pandemic, shortages of staff, overcrowding and increasingly difficult working conditions. SIPTU calls on the government to properly address these issues as a matter of urgency and recognise the crucial role of these health care staff.
In addition, SIPTU seeks proper occupational illness benefits for nurses and other healthcare workers due to the additional health risks while carrying out their normal duties. We also calling for the rollout of the task force on safe staffing and skill mix across all sectors.
Lastly, in line with our sister trade unions across Europe in EPSU we are calling on the EU to;
1) Ensure that the newly established COVID committee takes stock of the role of nurses and other health care workers during the pandemic and includes these front-line workers and their organisations in the discussions about the lessons to be drawn for the next pandemic;
2) Develop a dedicated Directive on Psychosocial Risks to protect workers from stress and burnout caused by work;
3) Increase the investment of the EU4Health budget into improving the working conditions of nurses, in relation to reinforcing the healthcare workforce. The European Commission should encourage Member States to apply for funding for these purposes.
4) Support collective bargaining and trade unions rights for nurses and other healthcare workers working across the entire health sector.